Saturday, February 10, 2024

Creative Lab - Don't Call it "Self" Publishing: How to Successfully Publish Your Own MG and YA Books

Andrea Fleck-Nisbet getting into detail about a P&L

Two highlights from the session I co-taught with Andrea Fleck-Nisbet:

1) "Self publisher" is a problematic term, because it tricks people into thinking they can do it all themself. But if you're going to publish a book you wrote (and/or illustrated and/or translated), you're the publisher. That means you have to hire a team of professionals to help you put out a book that is professionally published. 

An example: If no one is going to pay me to design the cover of their book, I have no business designing the cover of my book.

That's why we suggest the term "Author publisher" instead.

2) Readers generally don't care who published a book, as long as it is great. Part of what makes a book great is that it is professionally published. There's a lot of "tells" that reveal if a book has been professionally published--or not.

There's a nonprofit called IBPA (The Independent Book Publishers Association, that Andrea is the CEO of and that I work at as well as their Chief Content Officer) that offers a lot of resources for author publishers and indie publishers. Among those resources is the free-for-everyone Industry Standards Checklist

It's two pages long, and well-worth checking out with a book next to you -- there are some surprising things that go into a professionally published book...

Pop Quiz: Do you know what a colophon is?

(Hint, it's on the spine of pretty much every professionally published book.)

You can find out more about IBPA here.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On!

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